Montana youth theater group addresses bullying, mental health through student-written shows

Posted at 12:14 PM, May 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-15 14:14:07-04

BUTTE – Acting, singing and even dancing are ways a youth theater group in Butte is trying to reach fellow students on important issues.

Or as Orphan Girl Children’s Theatre Education Director Elizabeth Crase calls it – art with a message.

Members of the Orphan Girl Children’s Theatre created a show they’re taking to area schools that addresses issues like bullying, mental health, and even suicide. The student-written shows help keep their fellow students engaged.

“You can sit in health class all day long and hear the statistics and get those stats and that’s all wonderful, it’s important to have that too, but it’s not necessarily triggering that critical thinking,” said Crase.

As the actors were doing a skit on bullying at the Ramsay School recently, they would often stop and interact with the audience.

“What are you seeing, how are you feeling right now in the audience about what you’re seeing and how would you do this differently?” asked Crase.

The students involved in the program think it’s an effective way to pass important messages to fellow students because they can relate to the issues.

“I think it just helps them understand more rather than just have somebody sit there and talk to them. I think having some to watch and having something to relate to,” said 17-year-old actor and Butte High junior Cole Cunningham.

Art imitating life.

-Reported by John Emeigh/MTN News